By: Sean Crose
“Dear Patrick Day,” undefeated super welterweight Charles Conwell wrote in an open letter made public on Monday, “I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would no one deserves for this to happen to them.” Conwell was addressing his opponent from last Saturday night in Chicago, Patrick Day, of Freeport, New York. Conwell stopped Day in the 10th round on the undercard of the Oleksandr Usyk-Chazz Witherspoon bout, which was aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Conwwell had dropped the game Day twice during the fight before finally knocking the 27 year old out later in the bout.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Day lost consciousness and never recovered. He passed away Wednesday at Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital from a brain bleed presumably suffered during, or as a result of, the fight. As of press time, Conwell had not publicly commented on Day’s death. It’s been abundantly clear, however, that the Cleveland, Ohio native is deeply distraught by what has happened.
“I replay the fight over and over in my head,” Conwell says in the letter, “thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you. I can’t stop thinking about it myself I prayed for you so many times and shedded so many tears because I couldn’t even imagine how my family and friends would feel.” Conwell admits in the letter that he has considered quitting the sport since last Saturday.
“I see you everywhere I go,” he wrote, “and all I hear is wonderful things about you. I thought about quitting boxing but I know that’s not what you would want I know that you were a fighter at heart so I decided not to but to fight and win a world title because that’s what you wanted and that’s what I want so I’ll use you as motivation every day and make sure I always leave it all in the ring every time.”
Day’s trainer, Joseph Higgins, has offered his support to the man who bested his fighter. “Hello Charles, “ Higgins stated, via Twitter, “I am Patrick Day’s trainer Joe Higgins. I just wanted you to know that we do understand what you must be going thru as well. As devastated as we are we realize you are equally devastated. We know if it was the other way around we would be just as distraught.”
Conwell’s sorrow at the tragedy his opponent suffered at his hands has turned the rising fighter into a sympathetic figure in his own right. It’s a thoroughly horrible position for any person, especially someone as young as the 21 year old Conwell, to be in. Yet he has, in a sense, brought people to his aid as well. Higgins, who was the general in Day’s camp the night of the fight, knows all too well what Conwell is going through. “I too am distraught,” Higgins tweeted, “because I feel responsible, but do realize there is no fault. Stay strong and please don’t think we blame you.”
There are no villains in this story.